BIG EARS 2018 is coming MARCH 22-25; once again, Knoxville blesses the world with a feast of extraordinary and ear opening musical happenings. Check out the lineup!

THIS JUST IN: RHIANNON GIDDENS announced as the Keynote Speaker of the Big Ears Festival!

Saturday, March 24 / 11am-12:30pm / Tennessee Theatre

The legendary ROSCOE MITCHELL has been added to the schedule! His “Trios” show will combine four different three-piece lineups!

If there were ever a mystery as to how Roscoe Mitchell, the pioneering saxophonist and improviser, continues to make vital and interesting music into his late seventies, the liner notes for 2017’s staggering and gigantic ‘Bells for the South Side’ offer important clues. Mitchell writes of a friend who was hosting a solo house concert by the young percussionist and composer Tyshawn Sorey and asked Mitchell to sit in. That was the first time Mitchell met Sorey, and he was so stunned that they’ve since become consistent collaborators. Likewise, when Mitchell was scheduled to play a gig at London’s Café Oto, he not only read an email from Kikanju Baku, another young drummer who wanted to join him for the set, but he listened to him. Mitchell said yes, and they too have continued to work together. Mitchell—a artistic titan, with nothing to prove—remains open to new experiences and ideas, to what fresh perspectives can bring to his work. Or, as he told The New York Times of his enthusiasm for hip-hop, “I calm myself down and tune in to what’s going on.”

“Big Ears is one of the most quietly earth-shattering, subtly luminous festivals the world over,” – Oxford American

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire,” – Gustav Mahler

Declared “one of the country’s most audacious musical experiments” by Vice and “the classiest, most diverse festival in the country” by Rolling Stone, the Knoxville, TN Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance and the visual arts. We’re elated to remind you that the Big Ears lineup is out now, and tickets will be available Friday, November 3 at 10am ET via

And there have been more performances added by Ikue Mori, John Haywood, Jon Balke, Jon Gibson, Ned Rothenberg, Okkyung Lee, Susan Alcorn and Yuka C. Honda!


A letter from Big Ears founder and Artistic Director, Ashley Capps:

Dear Big Ears friends and supporters,

Summer has started to fade away and here we are – a mere 6 months from Big Ears 2018. First of all, we want to thank all of you who attended Big Ears in 2017 and helped to make it such an inspiring and unforgettable occasion. We’re especially appreciative to everyone who has taken time to share your experiences and feedback – and to respond to our annual survey. Your enthusiasm and suggestions are invaluable in helping us to continue to evolve the Big Ears experience. We couldn’t be more excited for 2018! For months now, the Big Ears team – and our growing family of co-conspirators and collaborators – have been shaping and curating a kaleidoscopic array of performances and experiences for the weekend of March 22-25. We can’t wait to tell you what’s in store. While our initial lineup announcement is only a very few weeks away – perhaps sooner – we can’t help but start sharing some of what’s in store – a few tantalizing hints and tidbits of information – between now and then. So…as a Big Ears newsletter subscriber, this is your first tip for 2018 and we hope you’ll continue to pay attention to things as they unfold on Big Ears’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  As always, we want to thank you for your enthusiasm, passion, curiosity, and support for Big Ears. It’s your engagement and participation that make it all possible. We’re looking forward to seeing you again in the spring of 2018 as we join together in another border-crossing, boundary-erasing, surprise-filled cultural and social adventure in downtown Knoxville.

Peace – and happy listening, Ashley Capps


Named for someone who is capable of discerning and perceptive listening, who has the ability to use the ears as a creative tool or who hears things many may miss, the Big Ears Festival is a weekend of world-class musical performances in beautiful historic theaters, clubs, galleries, and museums, combined with talks and discussions, interactive workshops, installations, exhibitions, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected connections.  It celebrates the never-ending adventure of artistic creation and exploration. From 100+ spellbinding performances to rare film screenings, artist discussions to explorations of poetry and literature, art exhibitions to secret shows and pop-ups, Big Ears 2017 was filled to the brim with unique experiences. Revisit highlights from the 2017 festival below, and join us in the spring of 2018 for another boundary-erasing cultural adventure in downtown Knoxville.


  • Brad Mehldau Double Hitter Out Now Via Nonesuch!
                  Grammy Award winning jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, Brad Mehldau, has two new albums, After Bach II and Après Fauré, out on Nonesuch Records! […]
  • Kamasi Washington Turns to Dance on Fearless Movement, Out Now!
    Following 2015’s (aptly titled) The Epic and 2018’s Heaven and Earth, the Los Angeles saxophonist, composer, and band leader juggernaut’s Fearless Movement is “a celebration of music, dance, and the ever changing maze of the mind that makes us who we are”. […]
  • TECHNICS SL-D202 turntable
    The semi-auto SL-D202 was introduced in 1981 as the replacement of the D2 model. They continued the tradition of employing a high quality direct drive motor and great sounding tone arm. The cue control was moved to the outside of the table for easier access. This turntable has been professionally […]
  • TECHNICS SLD2 TURNTABLE w/ custom paint job
    The semi-auto SL-D2 is the workhorse of the Technics family. Time has proven this model extremely reliable due to its high-quality direct drive motor and tone arm. This unit features a unique (and very handsome) custom paint job and has been professionally inspected, refurbished, lubricated and has […]
  • Yamaha 5-disc Carousel CD Player
    Tons of programming options and 18bit digital conversion (w/ 8 X oversampling)! Heavy duty unit and professionally inspected and refurbished!     […]
  • Thorens MM 008 Pre-amplifier
    Audiophile grade phono pre-amplifier, extremely clean sound and as reliable and well-constructed as they get! High versatility and ease of use: the MM 008 phono preamplifier can be adjusted to match the tonal characteristics of your pick-up cartridge, ranging from an MM setting to three different […]
  • Technics SLDD2 Turntable
    Technics direct drive quality at an affordable price! The great thing about Technics is they made quality affordable tables that were never “cheap”. This semi-auto SL-DD2 is one of the easiest turntables to operate. Simply move the tone arm over to start the record! This turntable has been […]
  • Technics SLD20 Turntable
    The semi-auto SL-D20 was the most popular of the p-mount turntables. They are ultra-reliable and feature a high-quality direct drive motor. This table has been thoroughly tested and is operating at 100%! Has been fitted with a like new audio technical stylus, Plug and play!       […]
  • Onkyo TX SR 876 Receiver
    Modern AV receiver with plenty of inputs and outputs and turntable READY with on-board phono pre-amplifier! Robust power for surround or otherwise at 140 watts PER CHANNEL! 140 watts x 7 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.05% THD. THX® Ultra2 Plus certification new THX listening modes for optimized […]
  • Haffler XL 280 Power Amplifier
    Legendary dedicated power amplifier, pure audiophile grade sound (No gain or tone control needed!), and near non-existent self noise! This is one of the very best amplifiers that Hafler made. It offers 145 watts per channel into 8 ohms, and is stable down to 1 ohm, offering 325 watts for short […]
  • Audio Research LS1 Line Stage Amplifier
    No tone adjustment needed, pure sound for the sound purist! The Audio Research LS1 Line Stage Amplifier is designed to accommodate music lovers who exclusively use line-level input sources — digital or analog — for the reproduction and enjoyment of music in their home audio systems. In technology, […]
    The BDP-S580 has built-in Wi-Fi and the best current lineup of streaming-media services, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Slacker, and CinemaNow! […]
    The Technics SL-D30 is a fantastic direct drive turntable featuring the same sound specifications as the SL-D3 model (Which is usually considerably higher in price) […]
    This unit has been completely refurbished including lubrication and calibration! Includes vintage Audio Technica cartridge with OEM stylus! […]
    The Technics SL-D3 is the FULLY AUTOMATIC version of the SL-D2 which is regarded as the workhorse of the Technics family. […]
    The Technics SL-D2 has been considered the workhorse of the Technics line of turntables for decades. […]
    The Technics SL-D1 turntable is a FULL MANUAL version of the legendary SL-D2, this model has been regarded as a “tank” and “indestructible” among hi-fi enthusiasts for decades. […]
    The Sansui S2000 speakers have been highly regarded in the hi-fi community for decades and for good reason! […]
    Very nice Blu-Ray player, with remote! Enjoy 3D Blu-ray Disc movies in Full HD 1080p--also supports standard Blu-ray Disc movies in HD and upscales DVDs to near HD quality. […]
  • RCA 45-EY-2 45rpm TURNTABLE
    The RCA 45-EY-2 is an AC operated 3 tube automatic phonograph with mono amplifier and speaker.  The turntable is a 45 RPM, model RP-190-1, which holds up to twelve 7 inch fine groove records. Uses crystal pickup with medium output voltage. Also uses Qty(1) PM Elliptical 4″ x 6″ speaker. […]
    The BX-300 incorporates a wealth of original Nakamichi technology such as the Discrete Three Head system, a Direct Drive Asymmetrical, Diffused Resonance Dual Capstan Transport etc. […]
    This NAD 7020E is an absolutely rock solid receiver, 2x20watts and AM/FM receiver is perfect for bookshelf and medium sized speakers. To those familiar with the NAD 3020E Stereo Amp, this unit employs much of the same technology!       […]